Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892



Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

Design an Experiment The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines endocrine disruptors as chemical substances that can “interfere with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, action, or elimination of natural hormones in the body that are responsible for the maintenance of homeostasis (normal cell metabolism), reproduction, development, and/or behavior.” The chemicals, sometimes called environmental estrogens, come from both natural and human-made sources. A simple hypothesis is that endocrine disruptors act by mimicking hormones in the body. Many endocrine disruptors affect sex hormone function and, therefore, reproduction.

Examples of endocrine disruptors are the synthetic chemicals DDT (a pesticide), dioxins, and natural chemicals such as phytoestrogens (estrogen-like molecules in plants), which are found in high levels in soybeans, carrots, oats, onions, beer, and coffee.

Design an experiment to investigate whether a new synthetic chemical (pick your own interesting scenario) is an endocrine disruptor. (Hint: You probably want to work with a model organism.)

Summary Introduction

To review:

An experiment to observe whether a new synthetic chemical is an endocrine disruptor.


The endocrine disruptors can be defined as the chemical substances that interfere with the activity of hormones at some specific dose. As a consequence of their activity, cancerous tumors, developmental disorders, and birth defects takes place. The endocrine disruptors derail the functions controlled by the hormones in the body.


The endocrine disruptors are found naturally as well as they are synthesized chemically. They generally interfere with the elimination, action, binding, transport, and secretion of the natural hormones. A simple experiment can be used to investigate whether a substance is an endocrine disruptor or not.

Two groups of a model organism such as lab mice can be used for this purpose. One of the group is control and the other group can be stated as the test group. The control group should be reared normally and they should not be exposed to the new synthetic chemical...

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